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Old 29-10-2010, 18:53   #2
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1 Year On… 10 Best Youngsters at Under-20 World Cup 2009 [Progress Update pt.1]
26 Oct, 2010 Jonathan F Africa, Brazil, Internationals, Latest, South America

A year ago we kept a very close eye on the FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2009 here at Just Football, and at the end of the tournament in Egypt we presented our 10 best players of the tournament – a look at some future stars of football, potentially. A year later, how are they getting on? Here is a progress report on all ten:

Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk / Brazil) (capped at senior level?: no)

It was with a keen eye that I watched Alex Teixeira play at The Emirates for Shakhtar Donetsk against Arsenal in their recent Champions League match. Like most of his team-mates however Teixeira failed to impress, losing the physical battle with Gael Clichy of all people. Still, at just 20, a high profile game at Arsenal is all part of the learning curve for this wonderfully talented Brazilian.

Teixeira won the adidas Silver Ball for second best player of the tournament in Egypt, before returning home to help Vasco da Gama win promotion to the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A (Brazil’s top division). Having alerted several clubs to his array of talents, it was Ukrainian champions Shakhtar that eventually won the race to sign the attacking midfielder for €6 million euros. There since December 2009, he is now starting to play a more prominent role in Mircea Lucescu’s side.

Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan [Reggina on loan] / Ghana) (capped at senior level?: yes)

Top scorer and voted player of the tournament, big things were expected of Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah when he followed up an exceptional tournament by signing for Italian giants AC Milan in January 2010. It didn’t go according to plan though. He is yet to play a single game for the club.

Now on loan at Reggina in Serie B where he has made 5 substitute appearances without scoring, Adiyiah risks becoming another cautionary tale of the perils of joining a big club too early. With the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Alexandre Pato providing the competition it looks unlikely Adiyiah will establish himself at the San Siro anytime soon.

At international level Adiyiah has fared slightly better, representing Ghana at both the 2010 African Cup of Nations and the World Cup. And, but for a magnificent piece of cheating, Dominic Adiyiah might well be a household name by now. It was his goalbound header that Luis Suarez callously punched off the line in the World Cup quarter final with Uruguay.

Giuliano (Internacional / Brazil) (capped at senior level?: yes)

One of a handful of players on this list not to have changed clubs in the last year, Giuliano has had an eventful twelve months nonetheless. The 20-year-old was instrumental in helping Internacional win the 2010 Copa Libertadores, scoring six goals to become widely heralded as one of the stars of the tournament. Under new Brazil coach Mano Menezes, Giuliano also made his senior debut at international level in a friendly against Ukraine at Pride Park, of all places.

While plenty of column inches have been devoted to Santos starlet Paulo Henrique Ganso in Brazilian sports journals, Giuliano kept Ganso out of the U-20 World Cup team in Egypt, chosen as chief attacking midfielder and indeed captain of the side. Small indicator of this young man’s big talent. Giuliano’s stock is certainly high, and a move to Europe seems imminent.

Vladimir Koman (Sampdoria / Hungary) (capped at senior level?: yes)

Vladimir Koman’s career has blossomed since the 21-year-old Hungarian hit 5 goals to emerge as second top scorer in Egypt. It was clear at the Under-20 World Cup that this was a player destined to lead his country for many years, and since captaining Hungary to third a year ago Koman has gone on to become a full international, making his debut against Germany in a friendly.

The versatile midfielder is now a regular at senior level with 6 caps and 2 goals including this pristine strike against Moldova (at 00:50 seconds in). Koman was also recalled by new Sampdoria coach Domenico Di Carlo after a loan spell at Bari in 2009/2010 and is growing in prominence at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris having featured eight times for Samp already.

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese / Ghana) (capped at senior level?: yes)

Scorer of the winning penalty in the final, it was clear from Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu’s consistently bustling, energetic performances at the heart of the Black Satellites’ midfield that he would soon be leaving club football in his homeland for foreign pastures. And so it was; just three weeks after the tournament’s conclusion Serie A’s Udinese completed a deal for his services.

The 19-year-old hasn’t quite managed to establish himself in Udine yet, making just 6 league appearances all from the bench, but Agyemang-Badu has progressed well at international level. The youngster starred for Ghana at the African Cup of Nations in Angola and only missed the World Cup because of injury.

Originally Posted by ACmen View Post
Only Milan can punish it's own fans by qualifying for CL. I'm off to sleep, another year wasted. When will this fucker be fired..
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